Amoretti Classic Cocktail #15: The Old Fashioned

So far, we’ve created fourteen classic cocktail recipes and managed to sidestep the original cocktail: the Old Fashioned. It’s not that we don’t love the Old Fashioned (we’re definitely big fans). Rather, we’ve been holding out because this drink recipe has a lot of rich history behind it!

If you’re interested in delving into a little cocktail history with us, then you’ll certainly enjoy this story… In the early 19th century, spirits were most commonly enjoyed either neat or as cocktails. However, the word was so new in 1806 that readers of a Hudson, New York newspaper had to ask the editor, Just what exactly is a cocktail?

His response was simple: spirits, bitters, water, and sugar. And, so it was. The bare bones elements of the cocktail were born. Take a spirit, add a simple syrup for the mixed drink to sweeten up, a dash of bitters, and some water to dilute the mixture (later soda water).

By the mid-19th century things were getting a little more complex in the world of mixology. Absinthe, curaçao, and other liqueurs came into fashion. Now, bartenders could add a little bit of sour to their concoctions. This is how we ended up getting drinks like the Sidecar (which is essentially a margarita with cognac!).

Drinkers who were frustrated with all of the newfangled bartender creations like the Sidecar and Gin Fizz would just ask for an “Old Fashioned.” When they said Old Fashioned, the bartender knew to serve something that looked like this…

Old Fashioned Drink Recipe


  • Ingredients:
  • Directions:
  • This drink recipe is quite easy to complete. Add your blue agave nectar and bitters to an Old Fashioned glass, and stir together. Add ice, pour bourbon over ice, and top with soda water. Garnish with an orange slice and/or maraschino cherries.

    You can still see the fundamental traces of the cocktail in this drink recipe. You have your spirit (bourbon – though rye and scotch are also acceptable), sweet (one of our favorite healthy simple syrups for mixed drinks), sour (the orange garnish – though lemon is also acceptable), and bitters.

    Commit this basic cocktail to memory, and use it to come up with your own creative drink recipes. Also, be sure to keep a bottle of Amoretti Organolicious Premium Blue Agave Nectar on the shelf at your home bar. Made from organic blue agave nectar, it’s a much healthier simple syrup for mixed drinks.

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